Sunday, June 30, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Baby T concept art

Not sure how much of this has been previously published but in any case here's some concept development art for another character from Crash Bandicoot. This time it's Crash's pet dinosaur. A baby Tyrannosaurus  Rex which was eventually named Baby T. He appeared in Crash 3. As with the other art I've been posting from this phase of Crash these are photocopies of the originals which I made at the time they were created. Unfortunately in some of these drawings I didn't capture the entire image but at least I kept a record of what I came up with.

The first image is the initial concept development of the character and is dated February 12 1998. The ones that follow are from a week later on February 19 1998.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blue line doodle monster head

Guys I've been feeling pretty good lately thanks to the groove I'm in. For a long time I was drawn away from drawing and wasn't feeling too swell about it all the while but it was what it was. Since early last year when I changed the way I operate my school it's been a different story.

Here's something I came up with this evening doodling an image while thinking about things. I also had the chance to place a graphite line around Medusa from yesterday's post.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


A few days ago a student of mine was struggling to come up with a design for Medusa. She's a character from Greek mythology. Head full of snakes was her distinguishing feature. Last night I thought I'd try my own version and voila. This is a work in progress. The blue pencil sketch is as far as I got in a sitting with my talented and inspiring students. I plan to finish it by darkening the lines and some of the shading. Also plan on doing a few more versions of her.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Head rotation demo

I was organizing some of the art I've created in class recently and discovered a page that had a head design lightly sketched in preparation for a rotation. I started it several months ago but it got buried in the demonstrations I've accumulated. I decided to finish it and over the course of the past couple of evenings I had the chance to do just that. Another example of how to handle a basic head rotation using the line up technique which involves drawing all the poses on a single sheet of paper as opposed to animating on a light box with a page per image. This will come in handy next week when the new students in Character Design start for the month of July. The full page follows each individual pose at the bottom of the post.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Coco and Pura 2

Here's a couple more drawings of Coco Bandicoot and Pura from the development of Crash 3. They're dated January 29 1998. These are xerox copies. The originals are online but placing these images here on the blog helps to keep the presentation and historical archiving of Crash art going. This completes the collection of concept drawings featuring Coco and Pura in each other's company.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Classic Profile

Lately I've been introducing students to artists who are masters of classical imagery and illustration from around a hundred years ago and earlier. I'm being creatively influenced just as much or maybe more than my students. With a little time on my hands I sketched this profile in a manner reminiscent of a bygone era. I like to draw this way and plan on doing more compositions in this vein in the future.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jak and Daxter girls - Part 4

There were several types of female characters I developed for Project Y aka "Jak and Daxter" in 2000. These girls were supposed to be librarians I think. Thus the big eyeglasses and longer skirts. I still attempted to give them a certain kind sexiness in their appeal. Whenever I got the chance to work on female characters for the project I especially enjoyed the creative experience.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Drawing Jesus - Burbank Art Association

The night before last on June 19 I was the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Burbank Art Association. This is a not-for-profit organization that's been in Burbank since 1950. Believe it or not I went there as a guest and wound up becoming the president. I'm still trying to figure out how that happened. 

As part of my presentation I was asked to create a simple demonstration of how I work. I began by describing that at a young age I was influenced by the art I saw at church. Growing up in the eastern orthodox church I was immersed in the byzantine style of design. Since most of what I do is concept development I thought it would be interesting to create drawings of Jesus in that manner. These are the sketches I came up with.

I'd also like to mention that my book was part of a raffle which the Association conducts during their meetings based upon what their guest artist contributes. I was told the amount of money they raised from the raffle that night broke their record. It was a very positive experience for everyone.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Coco and Pura

Here's something for the Crash fans. These images are from Crash 3 and the origin of Pura which was Coco Bandicoot's pet tiger cub. They're dated January 29 1998. Unfortunately they're photocopies as I never got quality reproductions of the art I created for Naughty Dog during this period. On the flip side at least I made xerox copies so a record could be kept of what I came up with back then. I don't know if any of these drawings or the ones that will follow have been published before. If not then enjoy some additional art from the heyday of Crash.

Pura is a nice character but I feel the design could have been enhanced. I was provided with a sketch from one of ND's artists and was directed to use it as a model for the design of the character. I don't like working this way. I felt stifled and not able to fully explore all possibilities during the development process. I didn't make a big deal out of it and went along with what they wanted while trying to do my best with the concept. In any case it is what it is and it turned out okay.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013


These images are from a class demonstration at my school from about ten years ago in 2003. Although I was lecturing in character design I also mixed up a little life lesson in the session as well. Sometimes appearances can be deceptive. What you think is one thing may be another once the wool is removed from one's sight so to speak. Look for the truth in things. It may not necessarily be in what you initially see but in what lies beneath it all...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Origin of N Tropy - Part 8

Dated February 19 1998 these drawings are the last batch from the development of Dr Nefarious Tropy from Crash 3. It took a while but I nailed the look and feel of the character after a lot of fun exploring the best way to visually define him. The body machinery has been simplified with the elimination of most of the gear work. The four smaller pistons are now two large ones. The exhaust pipes have been reduced to one and the time piece takes up most of the device. I followed up with a smaller full body sketch for the modelers at Naughty Dog along with back views as well. Hope you've enjoyed these entries and that they've given you a better look into the development of the Crash Bandicoot franchise.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bear shirt barbarian

I was thinking of Julius Caesar's account of the ancient Germanic peoples he encountered as recorded in his book "The Conquest of Gaul". It in he describes them as wearing very little clothing in cold weather. In fact they were proud of their tolerance of cold. I also remember reading about the history of the word "berserk" and that it meant a warrior in archaic Germanic times who would wear bearskin clothing when going to battle. Berserk literally meant "bear shirt" according to the source I referenced.

Thought I'd give it a go this evening and draw upon that theme. I sketched out these concepts in blue pencil and graphite for fun and also to have work ready to share with students this coming week that relates to what I'm impressing upon them. In particular the idea of exaggerated anatomy and also some basic rendering techniques regarding textures. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Line to tone to color

In 2002 I was inspired to draw this image as a class demonstration. The design was based upon a girl I knew back then. I went on to block in some gray tone with markers. This was on a photocopy of the original. Lastly was some Photoshop color tinting this evening helps bring her to completion. The students that watched me do this at the time have gone on to great things as artists in their own right. This was a good period at my school. The lesson continues...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Blue pencil & graphite demo

This evening I had a chance to create a demo while helping a student with their individual assignment. In the Visual Development class I endeavored to communicate basic fundamentals of rendering with blue pencil while enhancing certain aspects of the composition with graphite bolstering the image line.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Origin of N Tropy - Part 7

The next phase of the development of N Tropy was to make some dimensional sense of what was taking shape. These drawings are dated February 12 1998. They were created at Naughty Dog as I was working in the top floor corner conference room at the main office structure at Universal Studios. Those days were happy times! 

The paraphernalia on his body machine was over the top for the original PlayStation console. I was thinking that it could be created as a texture in Photoshop and then placed over the polygon structure of the modeled character. The pistons were over complex as well with elements that operated as flexible joints at the top.  You can see a little schematic I doodled on the back view. I opted to keep the exhaust pipes. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Early demo from 1996

Over the years I taught at different places now and then before I got into it heavy in 1996 at a friend's school called Associates In Art which is no longer around. I started with a Visual Development class and as this was at the peak of the great animation boom of the 90s a lot of people were enrolled at this place. My class had almost 40 people in it and I developed a reputation as to pulling off demonstrations in front of large groups. I had fun doing this and among the very first demos from this phase was this girl.

Inspired somewhat by Disney's Pocahontas since it was happening at that time. Watercolors over a pencil sketch. Students really enjoyed this as I recall. We had a good time. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jak and Daxter girls - Part 3

Here's a few more sketches I created back in 2000 when Project Y / Jak and Daxter was in development. These girls were suggestions for a potential girlfriend / love interest for the character that would become Jak. Fun to work on and good memories considering also that almost all the art I came up with for the project was created in the middle of the night after a full day running my school and teaching class as well.

Monday, June 10, 2013

What's up Crash?

It's been a couple of months since I drew Crash! I didn't realize how much time had gone by without creating at least a little sketch of him. Sorry about that Crash. I'll try to not let that happen again. By the way...

Follow this link to the Bring Back Bandicoot Petition

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Matt's trophy from Worthing Boys' Club

Even though this blog is intended to showcase my personal art I'd like to take a slight detour and share some good news. Over the past few weeks there's been three Ebay auctions conducted on behalf of the Worthing Boys' Club in the UK. It was organized by Matt who's a follower of my blog and frequently comments on posts. A color print of Crash and also of Spyro were sold at each auction and they did well. As a result and I'm sure for many other things involving his support it turns out that Matt has won the Worthing Boys' Club Senior Member of the Year award for 2013. 

A big congratulations to you Matt! Here's a picture of the trophy...

Monday, June 03, 2013

The impact of color

Consider this line drawing. Fun and interesting to look at. The character is different and has some intriguing possibilities. Although the quality is good as it's pretty much supported by nothing but line work.

Next up is the color version of the image. Markers on a photocopy keeps the line work from being affected by the pigment. What a difference! You really get a much better sense of the character.

Created in 1996 as a class demo while I saw teaching at a school called Associates In Art in Sherman Oaks California. The school is no longer around but the experience lives on by virtue of the art that came about.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Crash Bandicoot - Origin of N Tropy - Part 6

These drawings from the development of Crash 3's Nefarious Tropy are from the second session of working on the character. They're dated February 12 1998. The biggest difference this time around is the nature of his time travelling contraption. I added a lot of detail that resembles the gears and mechanisms of clocks including a cuckoo clock at the lower right side of his machine. Also there's been added a pumping device on the back of it whereby the pistons are connected to each other through joint-like bearings.